Last night at the Regal Cinemas near LA Live the LA Film Festival played host to the world premiere of the faux-documentary horror film “Delivery.” I was in attendance for the screening so you can expect a full review fairly soon. Also in attendance for the screening were the films director Brian Netto and writer Adam Schindler.
The two, along with their primary actors Laurel Vail and Danny Barclay, took to the stage after the film had wrapped to field questions from the audience. I recorded the Q&A and placed it down below. A few interesting bits of information were raised during the chat, like the fact that “Delivery” was being worked on right before “Paranormal Activity” hit the scene.
After the Q&A, I was able to get a moment with Brian and Adam and talk to them about their long partnership, the creation of the film and what’s coming next for them. Check out the interview below the Q&A video.
Delivery tells the story of Kyle and Rachel Massy, a young couple who agree to document their first pregnancy for a family-oriented reality show. The production spirals out-of-control after the cameras capture a series of unexplained events, leading Rachel to believe that a malevolent spirit has possessed their unborn child.
From director Brian Netto and producer Adam Schindler, Delivery is told through the shows abandoned and un-aired reality footage, as well as testimonials from friends.
How long have you guys known each other?
Adam Schindler: We’ve known each other for twenty-five years. We met in fourth grade and started making a ton of movies in fifth or sixth grade.
What kind of movies did you guys make as kids?
Brian Netto: It was two of us and one camera. So it was mostly action movies and that’s not easy to do. It was a lot of running around the house with toy guns and just trying to figure out, more than anything, how to shoot and work the camera.
AS: Experimenting with filming.
BN: Horror movies and action movies, that’s about it.
So this isn’t a passion you discovered in high school or college, this has been a long time coming.
BN: Long time coming.
AS: Yeah in fifth or sixth grade we were bored one day and just picked up my mom’s V/H/S camera and it’s literally been since then that we’ve been infatuated with making movies. I think our parents probably thought it was a phase that would fade out at some point, but we just kept building on it. We started writing our own scripts and doing our own little shorts and then we were like “Are we going to move out to Los Angeles and make this happen?” Ten years ago we drove out from Minnesota and said “Let’s do it.”
When did you discover that you had a passion for writing?
AS: I think it came from wanting to make movies and wanting to do everything. So it wasn’t something that I wanted to do when I was younger. I didn’t write books or stories a lot. Probably late high school and early part of college was, at least for me, when I started writing scripts just so I had something to shoot so that I wasn’t running around with toy guns.
And for Delivery did you both work on the story together? Or did one of you come to the other with the idea for it?
BN: Yeah we worked on it together. We had the inception, we beat out the story, came up with the scriptment which we then used as our major template, and then from there went on to shoot. But coming up with the script… it probably took us about four months to have a finalized version of it. It moved really fast and felt really natural and from the very beginning we had the structure in place. We had the first act which is the pilot, then the second act which is a mish-mash of different things, and then the second to third act which is more of a single camera gritty looking film.
Which is more terrifying to you guys: babies or demons?
BN: Demon babies.
AS: Demon babies. Since I went through the whole pregnancy thing, I’m pretty cool with that. Demons though…that’s another story, I don’t like demons.
Was there any underlying fear of pregnancy or babies that went into the creation of “Delivery?”
AS: Like a phobia? I didn’t have a phobia. I thought it was uncharted territory. I was going through it and I kept wondering what’s the next step? Is this right? My wife feels weird, is this normal? I think it’s the innate fear of the unknown. Everyone goes through it and you’re probably going to be fine, but not knowing what the next day will bring is hard. From morning sickness to this or that. Is she having a contraction or is it just acid reflux? You know what I mean? It’s that kind of fear. Can you speak to that?
BN: No, I mean… Babies are demons. I’d probably say demons, personally. My wife isn’t pregnant, but we’ll get to that point eventually.
There are underlying religious themes in the movie. Were you guys brought up with a religious background?
BN: Raised Catholic, so yeah. I had the groundwork laid for me to delve into something like this.
AS: I was raised Methodist, so I didn’t have the Catholic upbringing. However, my dad was raised that way and I remember him telling me stories about going to school and having nuns rap his knuckles with a ruler. I vividly remember those stories, but my house wasn’t overly religious.
Where you guys in the theater watching the premiere with us? How was that experience?
BN: Surprisingly calm. I didn’t know what to expect, but the whole day had a sense of calm. I think it was the fact that there’s been this build up of putting this all together and finally getting it to the festival…it was just great to see it on the screen.
AS: It was exciting. I was just waiting to see if people would react to the things we thought they were going to react to and people were reacting to things we didn’t expect them to react to. There was a lot more humor in it than I thought. We knew there were moments where people would laugh, but it seemed like people found moments in the second act funnier than we did. Which is fine, because as we said in the Q&A, real life is funny sometimes. And I think a lot of it was nervous laughter as well. But it was wild, it was a good ride.
Which scene had the greatest reaction that you didn’t expect?
BN: I think the pilot. It was the laughter during the pilot. In terms of scares, I think we got the reaction we were expecting from those moments. The laughter was the biggest surprise though, which I’m happy about because I feel like if you have a good laugh you start to let your guard down and then we get you with a scare. It’s this whole thing of building back up and then you let it out. You build it back up and then you let it out.
So are you looking towards a new project or are you just focused on selling this film for now?
AS: Both. I mean we’re pushing this with festivals and such and hopefully the response will be good enough that people will come and take a look at it, but we’re working on another script called “Method.” It’s similar along the lines of it being a thriller/psychological horror kind of thing. That’s our next project, so hopefully we can parlay this film into that film.
Thanks again to Brian Netto and Adam Schindler for taking time out of their big day to chat with us. If you want to see “Delivery” before the movie leaves the festival, it’ll be shown again this Friday on June 21st. Check the official LA Film Fest website for more info.